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What is happening to the price of oil?

Why oil affects us all

The price of oil (and by the price of fuel) is one of those statistics that may not set your world alight (forgive the pun), but which nevertheless underpins most of our daily lives. Whether we're worrying about the cost of running a family car or running a business, prices at the pump are never far from our minds when attempting to budget or manage personal & professional costs.

The most recent dips in oil prices are great news for consumers and business owners, less so for oil dependent countries and producers. A trend that began in June 2014 sees no sign of reversing. As you can see from our infographic, we've compiled the data on price trends, the root causes behind the sudden dramatic changes in price, and who the main winners and losers are.

What does it mean for South Africans?

Low oil prices are welcome in a time when the rand is weak against the US dollar; for example diesel has dropped to 50 cents a litre, with oil trading at $36 a barrel as of Tuesday. This is certainly welcome news when you consider that South Africa has long been one of the worst-off countries when it comes to percentage of income spent on fuel (South Africa was at 4.07% as of 2014).